Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Noteworthy News: New Study to Examine Effects of Alternative Loans on Financial Aid Policy

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Noteworthy News: New Study to Examine Effects of Alternative Loans on Financial Aid Policy

Article excerpt

The Institute for Higher Education Policy, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and The Education Resources Institute (TERI) announced the launch of a research project that will examine the dramatic increase in privately funded, or alternative, student loans and the effect these loans have on students and higher education policy.

The project is funded by TERI, and NASFAA's research committee will organize a series of focus groups of financial aid administrators that will provide the opportunity to discuss private/alternative loan issues on their campuses.

"Since the launch of our private loan programs over 17 years ago, there has been a dramatic increase in the need for private loan programs. We believe the research compiled by this study will help inform policy and help shape the direction these programs may take in the future," says TERI President, Lawrence O'Toole.

"Alternative loans are one of the fastest growing areas in student aid, but the area we probably know the least about," says Jamie Merisotis, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy. "As we develop national policy, getting a better understanding of the alternative loan market will be critical to the development of federal loan policy and, more broadly, the development of institutional policy that affects access for students."

The Institute and NASFAA researchers hope to address several specific concerns of the higher education community, including:

- Who is taking out private loans? …

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